Our Favorite Videos of 2019

Our Favorite Videos of 2019

Favorite Videos 2019 Collage

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik, Joel Russo; Videos: The Serious Eats Team]

We shot, edited, and put out more videos this year than ever before. Thanks to all of your love and support—and maybe some Tuesday night binge-watching—our YouTube channel has welcomed thousands of new subscribers. We’ve shot videos in our test kitchen to accompany new recipes, and we’ve even started to work through some of our greatest hits, adding informative videos wherever they’re needed. We tasked Daniel with making a near-impossible pecan pie, cooked our way through the condiment you can’t get enough of, unearthed a whole never-seen-before series of Kenji videos, and so much more. Of the many, many videos we’ve loved this year, these are our staff’s very favorites.

I want to give a big shout-out to all the Resetting the Table videos that Elazar hosted this year. These videos require a ton of work from the team, from traveling with their heavy equipment to editing and coordinating with talent. But it’s an undertaking that’s well worth the effort. In each of his adventures, Elazar introduces us to new perspectives on food, and usually cooks something delicious along the way. I love how he coaxes the best out of the video talent, whether it’s Yemi Amu, the woman behind New York City’s largest outdoor aquaponic farm or Chinchakriya Un, a pop-up restaurant entrepreneur who brings Cambodian flavors to diners all over the city. Each video is a pure adventure and Elazar is a wonderful, silly, and thoughtful host. For those who truly care about food, where it comes from, and the people who make it, this series is the ultimate gift. —Ariel Kanter, marketing director

Resetting the Table: An Aquaponic Farm Rooted in Community »

How to Make XO Sauce, the Cook’s Condiment

Being thrust from the privacy of a kitchen to the spotlight of a camera is not always an easy transition. I know firsthand, because it’s been a long and awkward process for me. When Sasha recorded his first video or two, commenters weren’t the most compassionate, making fun of his talking speed and energy. “Give him time,” a few more empathetic souls said in his defense. Then he dropped this XO video right after that, in what I think is the ultimate response. Right away, Sasha proved he really didn’t need all that much time to find his footing on camera, and his willingness to make fun of himself isn’t just hilarious—based on the comments, it also immediately won over almost all the haters. Oh, and that XO ain’t too shabby, either. —Daniel Gritzer, managing culinary director

I think I’m contractually obligated to say I enjoyed this video the most, since I was forced to appear in it. I hope it’s safe to say that it will be the last video I appear in, ever, for all time. [Editor’s note: don’t be so certain.] That being said, it was a pleasant surprise to discover the video people get a ton of tasty snacks produced by the on-camera talent; pleasant, that is, until I fully understood HOW MANY tasty snacks I’ve missed out on in the office. —Sho Spaeth, staff editor and writer

I want every story on SE to be told by smart, thoughtful, funny storytellers. To that end, it’s been really fun to watch Vicky Wasik and Joel Russo become consummate food storytellers with video. Daniel’s pecan pie video is a perfect example of this. So is Sasha’s XO sauce video, which features a relaxed Sasha and, of course, a rare appearance by our office ramen expert and resident contrarian, Sho Spaeth.

How to Make XO Sauce, the Cook’s Condiment »

For a Killer Thanksgiving Vegetarian Main Dish, Stuff Your Pumpkins

I love how impressive-looking and delicious these pumpkins come out at the end. It’s hard to impress a committed omnivore like me with something vegetarian, but I’d rather eat one of these than a roast turkey any day! Sasha makes it look so fun and entertaining to make, too. —Daniel Kallick, full stack developer

For a Killer Thanksgiving Vegetarian Main Dish, Stuff Your Pumpkins »

Fuchsia Dunlop Is a Master of Sichuan Cooking. This Cookbook Is Proof.

To say I’m a fan of Fuchsia Dunlop would be the understatement of a lifetime. Her memoir Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China shaped the way I think about food writing, travel, and learning about another culture’s foodways. So when the video team told me Fuchsia would be coming into our office to teach Daniel how to cook Sichuan food I, well, kinda lost my s**t. Though you’ll have to wait until 2020 to see most of the amazing videos they filmed together, you can start here, to get a taste of the very delicious things to come. —Elazar Sontag, assistant editor

Fuchsia Dunlop Is a Master of Sichuan Cooking. This Cookbook Is Proof. »

Resetting the Table: Meet Shaquanda Coco Mulatta, New York’s (Drag) Queen of Hot Sauce

There is so much to love about this video! What a fun peek behind the scenes of Shaquanda’s hot sauce and a great chance to learn how it came into fruition. I loved seeing the various stages from concept to product, and the delightful ideas behind each flavor (oooo-mami made me giggle out loud). I loved listening to Andre’s thoughtful approach to incorporating his personal history and identity into his hot sauce. Seeing Elazar and Andre’s playful and easy friendship captured so well on screen made this a perfect video I want to watch over and over again. —Grace Chen, office manager & associate podcast producer

Elazar’s Resetting the Table videos are a hit around the office, and I have to echo Grace’s sentiments here about his video with Shaquanda. I love how Elazar places food in a larger cultural context and sparks conversation. He always manages to find the most unique stories, like this one about Shaquanda’s hot sauce and Andre’s relationship with food and identity. And girl does that hot sauce look good. I know how hard both Elazar and the video team work on this series, and I’m super excited to see what’s to come of it next year! —Yasmine Maggio, social media intern

Resetting the Table: Meet Shaquanda Coco Mulatta, New York’s (Drag) Queen of Hot Sauce »

The Evolution of K2FC, a.k.a. Kenji’s Kimchi Fried Chicken Sandwich

I mean, it feels like cheating when you get to choose a video that features Kenji and Stella working together on one amazing dish. There’s not much more I can say about those two geniuses that hasn’t already been said by much smarter people than I, so I’d like to point out another super star, our editor John Mattia. He made this video an absolute delight. There was a ton of footage and it’s not easy to take a recipe with a lot of steps, multiple hosts and make it not just look effortless, but entertaining—and John did just that. Space Kenji and John 4 life. —Joel Russo, video producer

The Evolution of K2FC, a.k.a. Kenji’s Kimchi Fried Chicken Sandwich »

How to Make Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies, à la Levain

Why would you want to make a batch of enormous cookies that are nearly too big for one person to eat? Well, why not? Stella Parks has no concern for such practicalities. In your fevered dreams, don’t you, too, long to make a truly monstrous cookie, a cookie that can “end a person,” as our pastry wizard puts it? Find out how in this video. —John Mattia, video editor

How to Make Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies, à la Levain »

Mission Impossible? We Attempt BraveTart’s Top-Secret Pecan Pie

Joel, our video producer, put a lot of care into the little graphics that made this video really fun to watch. It predictably inspired throngs of Reddit detectives working to track down the recipe and attempting to bake it at home without Stella’s help. I’m honestly impressed by those who persevered through pot after pot of burnt caramel. To all those BraveTart stans secretly hoping Daniel would fail spectacularly…I was one of you. Sorry DG. —Maggie Lee, UX designer

Mission Impossible? We Attempt BraveTart’s Top-Secret Pecan Pie »

Think a French Omelette Is Hard? Try Tamagoyaki

Daniel Gritzer’s a total goofball, and I love it when our video team manages to capture his antics for the Serious Eats audience. The Rocky scene in this video is a perfect instance—and I still can’t get over that he manages to cook a notoriously challenging dish with an internationally respected chef and kick the cap off a bottle of soy sauce in a single video. Bravo, team. Bravo. —Niki Achitoff-Gray, editor in chief

Think a French Omelette Is Hard? Try Tamagoyaki »

Trapizzino Is the Pizza-Sandwich Hybrid of Your Dreams

We produced a lot of great videos this year (like the impossible pecan pie video, and this one about Shaquanda’s hot sauce), but when it comes to picking favorites, it’s memories of what I’ve eaten that tend to determine my pick. With that in mind, I’m going with Sasha’s trapizzino, which truly was the pizza-sandwich hybrid of my dreams. —Paul Cline, president

Trapizzino Is the Pizza-Sandwich Hybrid of Your Dreams »

Just Add Milk and an Egg for the Easiest Homemade Pancake Mix

It’s a very biased reason to love a video, but I got to douse so many pancakes in maple syrup for these sweet, sweet slo-mo shots. “Now, can I pour the syrup now?” Just rivers and rivers of maple syrup. Plus I got to eat the outtakes, and Joel secretly caught me humming along to an iconic Adventure Time tune. —Stella Parks, pastry wizard

Just Add Milk and an Egg for the Easiest Homemade Pancake Mix »

Resetting the Table: A Lesson in Cambodian Cooking, From a Mother-Daughter Duo

I am a huge fan of Elazar’s Resetting the Table videos, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to tag along with him and the video team for the taping of the series’ inaugural episode at the home of Chinchakriya Un in Brooklyn. Getting to spend the day hanging out with Chinchakriya and her delightful mother (who is just the cutest with the perfect amount of parental side-eye attitude) was one of the highlights of my year working at Serious Eats. I learned so much just watching them cook together, and peppering them both with off-camera questions throughout the day. I can’t wait to see what Elazar has in store for this series in 2020. —Sasha Marx, senior culinary editor

I have to give a shout-out to Elazar’s Cambodian Cooking video as part of his Resetting the Table series. Elazar’s calming hosting presence allows Mak Kim and Chinchakriya Un, the Cambodian mother and daughter in the video, to movingly tell both their story and the country’s story through the food they are cooking. —Ed Levine, founder

Resetting the Table: A Lesson in Cambodian Cooking, From a Mother-Daughter Duo »

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